Once I calmed down and saw what was happening, I ran to get my camera. A harmless (to me) garter snake had its jaws around a live toad and over the next half hour gave me a chance to watch something that looked like it should have been impossible.
I’ve had friends over the years who’ve had a special interest in snakes, poisonous or not. Not me.
I’m not sure how to explain my dislike for snakes. I’m quite sure that it has nothing to do with the way they are portrayed in the Bible. Seems to me that if I had any natural virtue, I’d feel akin and some compassion for the one creature that—like us, has in a noteworthy way been victimized and used by our common enemy.
What a complex and surprising role, however, the snake has been given. Because of what happened in the Garden it represents Satan (Gen 3:1-15). Then, on a pole—in a barren wilderness, it became a foreshadowing of Jesus (John 3:14-16) (Num 21:4-9).
While the lion also has a similar distinction of representing both our enemy and savior, the snake, when contrasted to our Creator, seems to have become the first of the creatures to help us understand one of the clearest distinctions between good and evil.
There is an Accuser, and there is an Advocate… And every day of our lives we align ourselves, and draw our moral strength, from one… or the other.
Whether we identify with the victim snake, or the toad, may God help us to see what is happening in and around us.